Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Practice--Listening to the Feminine Voice

As a woman, I gravitate to the musical voices of women and I can say I have always done that.  And you would think that all women would support women musicians by purchasing recordings, attending concerts and passing the word on about women artists to friends, but this isn't always the case.  When I first became interested in pursuing a career as a songwriter and vocalist back in the early 1980s, there were actually few female role models leading bands and writing their own songs compared to the number of bands led by men and even when conversations among women came up about music, the women would mention their favorite male performers.

Yet for me, I needed the tenderness and vulnerability of women songwriters because they spoke my emotions for me, whereas, even the most sensitive men musicians did not.  And of course, I had my favorite male-led bands and singers too because we all need the balance.  As time went on, I noticed more women supporting women bands and songwriters through record sales, concert attendance and friends talking with friends.  And because of this support, more women started bands, wrote songs, and expressed themselves, mainly because they were inspired by their musical sisters getting up on the stage.  Women musicians also started garnering more press too and they weren't just tossed on the cover for sporting beautiful tresses and big breasts.  They actually had something interesting to say, even in the pop music arena, think Tori Amos or Suzanne Vega.

Today, my interests lies with classical, jazz, world and folkloric music mainly.  I'm including some all women groups here who speak to my sensibilities these days because I'm no longer in my 20s and 30s and my sensibilities have changed dramatically.  I listen to a lot of women musicians from the baby boomer generation as well as my own too because these women have reached their wisdom years.  And some of these women were wise beyond their years when they were in their 20s, 30s and 40s.  I mean, Carole King hits the spot for me and I'm talking about her older songs.

But let's start out with a young group of women vocalists who specialize in medieval music, The Medieval Baebes from England.  This ensemble has a Venus quality and they use the glamor of Neptune which includes music and video imagery.  Their arrangements amaze my ears and their beautiful voices soothe my soul.

The Medieval Baebes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lTDDf9NoLg

Next up we're visiting the world of American swing and bluegrass.  Hailing from Canada are two of my favorite girl groups, The Wailin' Jennys and The Good Lovelies.  One is more sober than the other, but the women share more than a Canadian identity in common.

This Wailin' Jennys' song dates back to the beginning of the band's career.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNeJlSBko2s

Have fun with The Good Lovelies who have a sense of girlish play and giggles.  Listening to their songs is like hanging out with your best friends.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6VjQ35pNsE

Off to Ireland, where we revisit songs by The Henry Girls who I discovered recently.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riIHaj5-J4o

Then finally, we set off to Cuba where we encounter an all-women Cuban son band.  And you'll find other all-women groups throughout the Latin American music traditions.

Morena Son
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlb-EDeBCQM

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Practice--Power of Words in Shaping Reality

The Beatles, Wikipedia, All You Need is Love
If you practice metaphysics or consider yourself new age then you are familiar with the power of words.  Similar to music, words contain vibrations and those vibrations shape our perceptions of reality.  I have also noticed that when you listen to a particular song, you carry the vibration of that song in your body, not to mention the effects are amplified each time your brain repeats the melody and words of the song.

Some people don't care about the "reality" they create and they also don't wish to take responsibility for what they create with their words, thoughts, emotions and perceptions.  I'm not addressing that crowd.  I prefer to address those of you who are on the road to mastership of co-creating and prefer to empower yourself with words, music, and sound vibrations.  Most of us may never reach mastership, but why not take the journey anyway and grow more conscious each day on the journey?

As a musician, writer and metaphysical practitioner, I don't always pay attention to my words or language I tend to use.  I have caught myself using violent language or at least darker words when I could have chosen otherwise.  Actually, I feel that my Spirit Guides point this out to me.  When I was younger and a rock musician, I listened to any song on the radio and I wrote dark lyrics.  I didn't do this because I wanted to act in a destructive manner, I did this out of pure ignorance.  Fortunately, I learned about kirtans and sound healing and I could cancel out some of those negative vibrations.  However, Dr. Masaru Emoto's work with water crystals awakened my consciousness around words and music.

So as an experiment try listening to this kirtan or any kirtan when you feel that you have headed into a negative tailspin.  You could also use singing bowls or tuning forks to clear your energy field if you have those tools available.  Didgeridoo and shakers will also break up and clear that energy.  So I'm also including a link to didgeridoo.  Then finally, I have selected three songs with powerful life-affirming lyrics.  These aren't sacred songs, but they come from popular music traditions.  

Kirtan:

Deva Premal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlvF0qXttqA

Didgeridoo:

Ryka Ali
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEgXAu30yuY

Pop Songs:

Beatles
All You Need is Love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-pFAFsTFTI

Helen Reddy (empowering)
I am Woman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu4xpDuf84A


Ruthie Foster (words by Maya Angelou)
Phenomenal Woman  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-6ngL2pdgA

Try these tunes out on your chakras and feel them clear.